Exploring the sound of string theory

Oct 13, 2011

A new collaboration between physicists and sound artists at Queen Mary, University of London, has produced a sonification of string theory equations. The project is being unveiled at a concert on 5 and 6 November, 2011.

Flow Motion are electronic musicians and sound Anna Piva and Edward George, formerly artists in residence at Queen Mary. They produce multimedia installations and sound art performances based on academic research.

During their residency at Queen Mary, Flow Motion collaborated with Dr David Berman from the School of Physics and Astronomy, and Dr James Sparks, Mathematical Physicist at the University of Oxford, to explore the relationship of ideas of string theory with sound and music.

Their latest project, Explorations in Eleven Dimensions, will have as its basis the of Dr Berman’s string theory equations, and a series of explorations of frequency and micro-tonality in the work of Bach and Debussy with Dr Sparks.

Dr Berman explains: “The cutting edge of science has always impacted the music and art world; Einstein’s relativity and the world of quantum mechanics has been influencing artists for 100 years. Now string theory is at the cutting edge of physics and the interest by artists in the challenging concepts of theoretical physics continues. We have been exploring the relationship between the cutting edge of science and that of art.”

String theory attempts to provide a complete, unified, and consistent description of the fundamental structure of our universe, and is often referred to as the theory of everything. The Centre for Research in at Queen Mary aims to expand our knowledge of string and quantum field theories both at the conceptual and the computational level.

Flow Motion will be joined for the performance by a quartet of musicians from London’s classical and improvised music scene.

The performance will be followed by a talk by Flow Motion, Dr Berman, and Dr Sparks.

Explore further: What I learned from debating science with trolls

More information: Explorations in Eleven Dimensions will be held on Saturday 5 November and Sunday 6 November at 7.30pm in The Octagon, Queen Mary University of London.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Unravelling the random fluctuations of nothing

Aug 02, 2007

The dream of theoretical physics is to unite behind a common theory that explains everything, but that goal has remained highly elusive. String theory emerged 40 years ago as one of the most promising candidates for such ...

Cambridge makes music from 'dark energy'

Sep 21, 2007

An invisible force so mysterious that it has yet to be understood by even the most eminent astronomers is being turned into music at a new Cambridge University exhibition.

Recommended for you

What I learned from debating science with trolls

15 hours ago

I often like to discuss science online and I'm also rather partial to topics that promote lively discussion, such as climate change, crime statistics and (perhaps surprisingly) the big bang. This inevitably ...

Activists urge EU to scrap science advisor job

Aug 19, 2014

Nine major charities urged the European Commission on Tuesday to scrap a science advisor position it says puts too much power over sensitive policy into the hands of one person.

More to a skilled ear in music

Aug 15, 2014

The first pilot study in Australia to give musicians the skills and training to critically assess music by what they hear rather than what they see begins this month at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.The study aims to ...

User comments : 0